Several athletes have decided to bid farewell to their cross-country skiing careers after the 2017/18 season. Each one of them has left their mark on the sport.
Justyna Kowalczyk, POL
One of the top athletes to announce her retirement right after the season was Justyna Kowalczyk. With 50 FIS World Cup victories and over 100 podiums along with two individual Olympic gold medals, two World Championship gold medals, a record four consecutive FIS Tour de Ski titles and four overall World Cup crystal globes, Justyna Kowalczyk’s accomplishments rank her among the greatest of all time in the sport of Cross-Country Skiing.
Aino Kaisa Saarinen debuted on the FIS World Cup in March 1998 and has since become a four-time World Champion and five-time Olympic medallist. Saarinen landed 35 times on the FIS World Cup podium.
Anna Haag and Emil Joensson, SWE
Anna Haag and Emilm Joensson announced their retirement at the FIS World Cup Finals in Falun (SWE). Haag won four World Championships medals in team events, became 2014 Olympic Champion in relay, claimed Olympic silver in 2010 and concluded her Olympic career with silver in the relay in PyeongChang 2018.
Meanwhile, Emil Joensson’s career statistics feature 16 World Cup wins, 25 World Cup podiums, and two Olympic and World Championships medals. Additionally, he won the World Cup sprint title in 2010, 2011 and 2013.
Kikkan Randall, USA
Kikkan Randall announced earlier last year that the 2017/18 season would be her last one. Randall won 13 FIS World Cups and claimed 29 podiums. She won three overall sprint World Cup titles. Together with teammate Jessie Diggins she became 2013 team sprint World Champion and crowned her career with Olympic team sprint gold in PyeongChang 2018 together with Diggins, the first Cross Country Olympic gold medal in American history.
Among the other cross-country skiers who retired after the 2017/18 season are:
Hannes Dotzler (GER), Tim Tscharnke (GER), Noah Hoffmann (USA), Liz Stephen (USA), Graeme Killick (CAN), Aurore Jean (FRA), Heidi Widmer (SUI) and Gianluca Cologna (SUI).
FIS wishes all the athletes who retired all the best in their future endeavours.